Dryer Thermal Fuse

Earlier this week our dryer stopped producing heat en route to Rencounter Bay, Newfoundland. The drum would tumble, but there was no heat. Once we’d anchored, we rigged a clothesline in the engine room to take advantage of the heat to dry the large load of clothes while we investigated the failure. We opened up…

There are times

For the for the first (and only) time boat builder good and proper tools are not usually a priority. If they last the life of the project that’s all I can hope for. Sometimes there are needs for specialty tools. Welders, presses, cutters etc. The expen…

Aug. 23 – Northeast Harbor, ME

Northeast Harbor Mooring
Mount Desert Island

“How glorious a greeting the sun gives the mountains!”—John Muir

What a beautiful day we had…the sun was back and the temperature was in the low 70s…a perfect day for hiking. We caught the bus to Parkman Mountain parking lot and hiked the Parkman Mountain/Bold Peak trail. The hike was a little steep and rocky near the summit, but it took us to the top of two barren granite peaks that gave us amazing views of Somes Sound, Northeast Harbor, Upper Hadlock Pond Great Cranberry Island and the Atlantic Ocean.

Round Harbour

We weren’t planning to visit Round Harbour on the south side of Long Island as the entrance looked tight and the charts showed aquaculture filling the small basin inside. But we decided to at least check it out on our way past and are glad we did. The entrance wasn’t difficult and the bay inside…

FPB 78 Great Room: A Study In Light

The FPB 78 Great Room brings with it a festival of light, a wondrous ever-changing melding of inside and out. …Read More

The Lobsters Don’t Stand A Chance

Our northernmost goal this trip was the state of Maine. From our stopover in New York and vicinity, we daytripped up the coast, stopping over in small New England port towns and enjoying a more rural Read More …

Aug. 22 – Northeast Harbor, ME

Northeast Harbor Mooring
Mount Desert Island

“When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.” ―Lao Tzu
We spent most of the day on the boat relaxing, reading, napping and doing research on what we want to do the next few days. Having a day of rain now and then really isn’t too bad…it gives us a chance to catch on a few things, work on maintenance projects and relax.


FPB 78 Video: Cochise Heaves-To And Stays Dry

Cochise heaves-to FPB style during sea trials… …Keeping her crew comfortable and dry. Be sure to watch to the end: …Read More

Aug. 21 – Northeast Harbor, ME

Northeast Harbor Mooring
Mount Desert Island

“I need the sea, because it teaches me.” —Pablo Neruda
Today we cruised over to Mount Desert Island…it was our first foggy day in Maine, not bad since we’ve been here almost two week. The funny thing is our first foggy day in Maine in 2013 was the day we cruised into Northeast Harbor on Mount Desert (the same place). The fog hung over the harbor all day, but the interior of the island was beautiful and clear. We should have planned to hike this afternoon, but we took the bus to Bar Harbor and hung out with the tourist instead.



Envoy is still in the marina at Rethymno, northern Crete.

Monemvasia is a particularly interesting and romantic medieval Byzantine town located on a steep fortified island rising dramatically from the sea and connected by a causeway to the village of Yefira on the mainland.
Local inhabitants first moved to the natural rock fortress in the 6th century to resist raids by pirates and by the 13th century Monemvasia was an important Byzantine commercial and cultural centre of about 40,000 people before being taken over by the Turks. Several churches here were built in the 12th century and still in-use, although during the long period of Turkish occupation they were used as mosques. Now many formerly ruined houses in the narrow cobbled lanes have been rebuilt as holiday homes, small hotels, tavernas and shops, while retaining much of their former charm and character.

Impressive gateway through the walled town of Monemvasia

There’s lots of quirky shops in the narrow cobbled lanes

Part of the town’s violent history is that its Turkish inhabitants were massacred when they surrendered to the Greeks after a three month siege during the War of Independence.
In former times the causeway had a drawbridge and fortified gatehouse and we anchor off the ruins of the gatehouse and use long lines to tie stern-to the shore.

Impressive Monemvasia Island is known as the “Gibraltar of Greece”

It’s rare to tie stern-to shore in New Zealand although it is done around Port Fitzroy at Great Barrier Island. As this is our first time to tie stern-to this season it brings to mind some of the pros and cons of using this system:
-You keep your stern to shore and bow to sea so that if there’s any swell you minimise rolling motion and only have to contend with more comfortable pitching.
-With your stern tied securely to shore its very safe in strong winds coming over the stern and with your anchor laid well out (with typically 50 metres of chain deployed) in deeper water the bow is unlikely to move (anchors don’t drag uphill).
-You can tie stern-to shore in a tighter spot than you can anchor in as you don’t need to allow for swinging room during wind shifts.
-More boats can fit into a given anchorage area as they don’t need swinging room.
-Lines to the shore can be a means of rodents and insects coming aboard and we thread the line through the neck of a plastic soft drink bottle with its bottom cut off to try to prevent this.
-It’s not so easy to leave in a hurry, especially at night, as stern lines need to be retrieved. Leaving when anchored is far easier.
-If the wind changes and becomes strong on the beam it can place a lot of pressure on stern lines and ground tackle. Boats are known to break inadequate lines or drag anchors sideways.
-Other vessels sometimes anchor close-by across your anchor chain or come right next to you stern-to the shore.
-At anchor the boat swings to the wind so the cockpit is always sheltered.
After spending two nights with lines ashore we concluded we’d not be in a hurry to do this again without special reasons. Incidentally if an emergency arises while tied stern-to, such as dragging sideways, it’s best to let your stern lines go and allow the boat to swing out into the wind to reduce strain on your anchor. Lines can be retrieved later.

Envoy moored stern-to shore

Detail of stern lines – ideally these should have been set at a wider angle to each othet

We’d not visited Yefira previously and enjoyed pottering around the village and the small, shallow, taverna-lined harbour for local fishing boats.

Yefiron’s harbour for small local boats

Here we find a fresh water tap and are able to replenish our supplies using Chris’s pumping system to discharge the water from jerrycans into Envoy’s tanks.

Envoy with Monemvasia in the background

It’s now a week since I went to have my ears treated and I was advised to see a doctor to check on them about now, so we find the one and only doctor in Yefira and drop in to see her. An examination confirms they are OK and she advises me to put three drops of pure alcohol in my ears if they get wet. Diane laughs saying she thinks I’ve generally got enough alcohol in my body without adding more. We ask how much we have to pay and she says the 15 minute consultancy is free.